Using a Foam Roller to help Prevent Injury:
Many people are turning to home exercise DVDs like P90X, and INSANITY or taking a Boot Camp class versus signing up for an expensive fitness center to remain healthy and fit. Well, one of the things that can derail your progress is injury, specifically soft tissue injury.
In order to help you avoid injury, the one device that needs to belong in your home gym/routine is a foam roller. There are many different types of foam rollers, some with bumps, some without, some made with just foam and others that are just foam on the outside. The foam roller I recommend is a cushioned plastic roller called the Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller. This particular foam roller retains the shape and size much better than other rollers, and the ridges help to make your foam roller more effective at treating muscle spasms (or trigger points).
What are the Benefits of using a Foam Roller:
As the name implies, a foam roller is a big cylinder constructed of foam that aids your body in warming up prior to exercise and helps you recuperate afterward. Some of the advantages of using a foam roller are:
- Enhanced flow of nutrients – your body needs nutrients to stay healthy and recover.
- Helps to increase blood circulation, which brings oxygen to the muscle.
- Helps release muscle tightness.
- Breaks down knots/trigger points that build up in your muscles with routine exercise.
- Reduces and helps prevent small “tweaks” from becoming bigger painful issues.
Using a foam roller is equivalent to giving yourself a massage. Using a foam roller at home offers you the benefits of massage without the expense or the 1 hour time commitment. Getting consistent massage can be beneficial, but unless you have the time or the money to get frequent massages, then using a foam roller can be a great alternative. A foam roller can also be used to help you keep the tissues supple, so your next professional massage isn’t so painful.
Many people wait to use the foam roller until after they experience an ache or minor pain from a workout which causes them to break out their foam roller and “roll” the tightness out. While this approach can be helpful, I suggest that you use the foam roller as part of your exercise routine versus a periodic health and fitness device to treat injury. By making use of a foam roller as a part of your regular fitness routine, you can help prevent problem areas in your muscular tissues from becoming bigger “painful” issues.
Foam Roller Tips you can use today:
- You need to use the foam roller consistently in order for it to be effective, so make a part of your daily routine: use while you watch TV, use it before and after a workout, or use it before you go to bed.
- Don’t just roll with your foam roller. Remember rolling helps you learn where your tight spots are located. Once you discover your tight “sensitive” spots by rolling, remember to stop and stay on the spasm for a period of time and see if you can get the trigger point to release.
- If you are stretching consistently and not having results, it may be because of muscle knots or trigger points that you need to work out.
- Use the foam roller to massage your partner! It may just be the best massage you give.
I have witnessed the benefits of using the foam roller in hundreds of patients. Now it’s your turn to discover the benefits of using a foam roller.
To YOUR Success!
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P.S.S. Stay tuned for our foam roller series on how to treat and prevent different injuries.